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Auto blogThu, 27 Jun 2013 10:15:00 EST
Like most quakes, the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor caught us by surprise. We weren't expecting Ford to offer up another version of its best-seller so soon before the truck's full redesign, but that's exactly what the company is doing.
While Ford calls the Tremor a "performance truck," the new pickup doesn't play on the same level as the SVT Raptor does on dirt, or even the long-gone SVT Lightning did on pavement. Think of it as a parts bin sport truck that probably does a better job looking the part than acting it. The Tremor utilizes the same twin-turbo, 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 available across the F-150 lineup, producing 365 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, but matches it with a 4.10 rear axle - the shortest final drive ratio you can get in an F-150 - for the strongest possible acceleration.
The Tremor does do a decent job looking the part. Available only in short-wheelbase, regular cab configuration with your choice of two- or four-wheel drive, it struts around wearing the F-150's FX Appearance Package, flat black accents, 20-inch black wheels, HID headlights and a special exterior graphics package. The Tremor is the only regular cab F-150 with a flow-through center console, which means it also gets a floor-mounted shifter and bucket seats that are covered in black leather with red piping. Some brushed metal accents and steering wheel with red stitching round out the interior upgrades.
No Prius Killer
As much as we enthusiasts like to rail on the lowly Toyota Prius as the harbinger of death for all we hold dear, there's no denying the machine's absolute and interminable grip on the hybrid hatchback market in the United States. Toyota has so thoroughly sunk its teeth into the segment that you can clearly hear the automaker's incisors clacking against one another with the conclusion of each financial quarter. And there's little wonder why. Buyers can plop down less than $25,000 and have a runabout that can return up to an estimated 51 miles per gallon in the city, leaving every other entry on the market with precious little gristle to gnaw on.
Enter the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid. With its claimed 47 mpg combined, the funky little hatch from Europe already falls behind the 48 mpg city offered by the Prius, but that marginal sacrifice in fuel economy could be a small price to pay for buyers who want a credible alternative to the stalwart Toyota. Unfortunately, like the Fusion Hybrid, the C-Max Hybrid had trouble even approaching its Environmental Protection Agency estimates during our time with the car.
Ford is back at the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture air show in Oshkosh, WI, on July 31 auctioning off its seventh Mustang for charity, and this is one seriously mean looking 2015 'Stang. All of the money from the sale goes to give free introductory flights to young people to get them interested in aviation.
We recently saw this latest EAA Mustang as a sketch. However, it looks a whole lot more menacing in person. Dubbed the Ford F-35 Lightning II Edition Mustang, it takes liberal inspiration from Lockheed Martin's latest fighter jet, and the customization makes the pony car look ready for a role in Top Gun.
On the outside, the special Mustang wears titanium-color paint that's offset by a black and yellow stripe running from hood to rear. Out back things get really wild with a mix of bright yellow and black that flows diagonally all the way to the rear spoiler. The design is based on the livery of early production F-35s. If the rousing color scheme isn't enough to get you interested, the car also gets a carbon fiber front splitter and rear diffuser, lowered suspension and a set of custom 21-inch wheels with yellow brake calipers.